Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
"The AR is not shot in HD and doesn't look this good in SD on my 10 foot screen"

Yeah that's my complaint with the show. They visit so many exotic locations with great scenery...HD would be fantastic. In this day and age we have many local low budget shows even in HD..I can't believe that mobile HD cameras/equipment are not available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,257 Posts
They visit so many exotic locations with great scenery...HD would be fantastic. In this day and age we have many local low budget shows even in HD..I can't believe that mobile HD cameras/equipment are not available.
I think the big problem is because they are racing from country to country, they don't want the teams to be slowed down by the camera crew trying to get the equipment through customs, so they likely have another complete set of equipment already in the country before the teams arrive. So to have one camera follow each team you need at least 22 cameras if they only have one spare set leapfrog the team to the next country or even more if they want a third set to give them more time to transport the equipment. On top of that there are all the static cameras they need at key locations along the way.

In the end they probably would need at least 30, maybe 40 or more cameras, which makes upgrading to HD much more expensive than it is for most shows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,257 Posts
It looks like a photo from the CBS site.
Exactly. They are links to the photos on the CBS site (not copying anything, just displaying what they are already making publicly available).

It is too bad that the AR is not HD or at least widescreen.
Looks like they were taken with a still camera.
 

·
Member #1
Joined
·
47,683 Posts
so they likely have another complete set of equipment already in the country before the teams arrive.
The only way they can do it is to use local camera crews in each country, many of whom don't have HD equipment hence the SD only.
 

·
Member #1
Joined
·
47,683 Posts
exactly Roger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Hi,

First, I completely agree that The Amazing Race would benefit greatly from an HD presentation for all the reasons mentioned in this thread.

Second, in this day and age of really great looking HD (720p) cameras in iphones, for crying out loud, the camera issue should be a moot point. You could shoot a lot of the show using portable HD cameras and it would still look way better than the SD presentation. Plus, might even feel more "authentic" with the less produced look you would get.

Third, I have a theory as to why they may not be switching to HD anytime soon. If you watch the show carefully they use a nearly constant editing technique of fast swoops and transitions between scenes, I guess to keep it interesting for the MTV generation or something. The problem is, that same frenetic editing style would turn to a pixelated mess on most HD carriers due to the lack of bandwidth being used by most providers these days. There is no way an MPEG2 stream with <13Mbs could keep the picture together without massive artifacting during these near-constant transitions.

I watched the season opener on Bell "HD" and it was comical how bad it was. The opening crane shot that zooms in on the host from far away was so poor that you could barely recognize the host, even when it was fully "zoomed in". My wife even commented on it! If you're not going to shoot in HD, don't try to pull of dramatic panoramic shots like that. They look like doggy-doo compared to *every other* prime-time program on TV, which are shot in HD. Part of the problem might have been Bell's crappy HD as well, as last week's episode (watched on Shaw cable HD) was way better looking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,934 Posts
How is TMZ comparable to The Amazing Race? Don't they only have a handful of journalists to give HD cameras to?
How many cinematographers shoot for AR? I would bet that it is close to the number of paps that use HD cameras for TMZ.

Really, we are ten years in here on HD. The embedded shooters with each team must have HD handhelds. If they use local contracts for stock footage, then put it in the contract that it must be in HD. No HD, no contract.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
737 Posts
They do use local contractors. problem is, if they switch to HD then all locations they go to has to have HD. While this isn't so much of an issue in developed countries, trying to pull it of in Ghana, for example, would be tough job.

It's not that it is impossible, it is just that it is too expensive at this time and producers decided there is not enough ROI in it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
543 Posts
I don't think there's any excuse these days to not tape shows in HD anymore, not just Amazing Race, which would be awesome in HD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,257 Posts
Second, in this day and age of really great looking HD (720p) cameras in iphones, for crying out loud, the camera issue should be a moot point. You could shoot a lot of the show using portable HD cameras and it would still look way better than the SD presentation.
This has been discussed before on this forum, but consumer grade HD cameras may be fine for home movies, but don't cut it for broadcast television as they:
  1. Aren't rugged enough,
  2. aren't flexible enough (professionals want to be able to easily control a bunch of parameters that most consumer cameras don't even let you control via menu),
  3. Have very slow lenses so don't even think about filming in low light.
Whatever they saved in cameras would be quickly lost in post production trying to fix the picture and the end result would still be worse (for example, if the clip is under exposed, you can try and fix it afterwords, but it won't be as good as getting the exposure right in the first place).

In the end, some scenes might look better, but others would become a grainy, noisy mess.

Plus, might even feel more "authentic" with the less produced look you would get.
By "authentic" do you mean low budget?

The problem is, that same frenetic editing style would turn to a pixelated mess on most HD carriers due to the lack of bandwidth being used by most providers these days.
Although you are right that BDUs butcher their HD (some more than others) and sometimes make it not much better than SD, I doubt if the producers have that in mind when making the decision between SD and HD.

There is no way an MPEG2 stream with <13Mbs could keep the picture together without massive artifacting during these near-constant transitions.
That is why Canadian broadcasters are strongly encouraged to use their full 19 Mbit/s OTA. It is the cable and DTH companies that compress it down to save bandwidth for their customers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Whatever they saved in cameras would be quickly lost in post production trying to fix the picture and the end result would still be worse (for example, if the clip is under exposed, you can try and fix it afterwords, but it won't be as good as getting the exposure right in the first place).

In the end, some scenes might look better, but others would become a grainy, noisy mess.
Perhaps, but they already use portable cameras and such in certain situations (inside a 2 seat car, for example), so they could certainly use portable/prosumer HD cameras for some shots as well as prof. grade equipment where feasible.

By "authentic" do you mean low budget?
No, I mean "your really there" in a way that HD can provide that SD cannot. I've used a couple of the low-end HD cameras in phones and standalone and the automated PQ is generally surprisingly good (in normal lighting, etc.).

Although you are right that BDUs butcher their HD (some more than others) and sometimes make it not much better than SD, I doubt if the producers have that in mind when making the decision between SD and HD.
I see your point, but realistically, what percentage of the TV viewing population is ever going to get the high-quality OTA transmission vs. a crappy sat or cable feed? If the shows producers were not considering it, they will be if they switch to HD and it's unwatchable by the majority of their viewers.

I realize that a full-on HD version of TAR might not be feasible at this time. But they could certainly film large segments of the show in HD (most challenges, checkpoints, etc.) and revert to widescreen SD for everything else, thus, the transitions wouldn't be as jarring. This format works fine for news shows shot in HD with a mix of HD and SD footage mixed in. The fact that they haven't moved to HD yet shows a lack of ambition on their part, IMHO. There can be no question that an HD broadcast would make the show far more involving for the audience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,204 Posts
KShopper: "The fact that they haven't moved to HD yet shows a lack of ambition on their part, IMHO. There can be no question that an HD broadcast would make the show far more involving for the audience."
Exactly! It would also give a much needed boost to the show. So far it has been more lame than "amazing"! IMHO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,257 Posts
Perhaps, but they already use portable cameras and such in certain situations (inside a 2 seat car, for example), so they could certainly use portable/prosumer HD cameras for some shots as well as prof. grade equipment where feasible.
There is a big difference (both price and quality) between professional portable cameras and consumer grade cameras.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top